Give & Take was the first episode of Red Dwarf XI to go in front of the cameras, and yet curiously it’s been shuffled into the episode 3 position in favour of an episode that, before broadcast, was being touted as a classic. Does this mean we’ve got a bit of a clunker on our hands? Is it really looking like this series decided to put its best foot forward and saved nothing for later? Were things a little bit rusty before production settled down into its mammoth multi-month and series schedule? Well, let’s see…
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With the presence of that ampersand in the title card, it’s a wonder that there’s anything left to discuss, other than the fact that there is now officially an episode of Red Dwarf with the same initials as this website. While that may cause some confusion later down the line, the issue remains of what kind of episode we’ve lent our name to. Based on just the one viewing (and a bit of a skim through to clarify some of the finer details of the plot), here are the big six (count ’em) talking points from the episode.
One thing to note, if you’ve somehow managed to miss all the spoiler warnings: this episode benefits from the element of surprise, and deserves to be viewed without preconceptions. If you’ve stumbled across this article without having watched the episode yet, read no further.
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Ah, Give And Take, the episode with the title that’s just an ampersand away from perfection. [EDIT: Actually, it has an ampersand in the title card!] It’s time to finally come face to face with that weird scary robot fish thing, and presumably to finally put a name to it. Episode three of six will be winging its way online right about now, so this is your destination for spoilery discussion ahead of the TV broadcast.
EDIT: THE LORD GIVETH AND IS YET TO TAKETH AWAY.
We’ll have some Talking Points for you this evening, with the full written review to follow over the course of the week. The regular podcast version of our live Samsara DwarfCast will also be online later, and a huge thank you to those who listened live and joined in the discussion last night. It’s hugely gratifying to see so many of you reacting to the nonsense we say, and your contributions make for a much better show. Anyway, Give And Take it away…
Samsara sara, whatever will be will be. The future’s not ours to see, so instead, head very slightly into the past with this downloadable version of Thursday night’s live reaction DwarfCast for Samsara. Jonathan Capps, Tanya Jones, Danny Stephenson, Ian Symes and TORDFC’s Jo Sharples were on hand to talk you through all their complicated feelings about the episode, along with some little known facts, an update on Red Dwarf XI: The Game, a preview of Give & Take and a round-up of the latest Dwarfy news, including the DVD details, a teased plot for Series XII and more rumblings about a stage show.
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Hello again, people who are watching at broadcast pace. You’ve spent the week in an isolated and dangerous wasteland, sans Samsara. Tune in to Dave at 9pm tonight to finally leave the Samsara desert. This is your thread for non-spoilery discussion beforehand, and whatever you fancy afterhand. And after the episode, you may want to catch up with the UKTV Play-pace discussion thread, the episode’s talking points, or our in-depth review.
But not before you’ve listened in to our Live Dwarfcast at 10pm (BST) tonight. We’ll be picking over tonight’s episode in forensic detail, as well as further discussion of the Red Dwarf XI game, all the latest news, a preview of next week’s episode, and much much more. The link will be posted on G&T and on Twitter shortly after Samsara is off air.
If last week’s pattern continues, we’re not expecting Give and Take to be released online until Friday morning, so you literally have nothing better to do. Join us!
There’s a bit of context required for this one. As recently documented in our forum, online listings have started to appear for the Series XI DVD/Bluray. While all details are still TBC, it seems that there’s going to be a special edition steelbook in addition to the standard releases, and that they’ll all be released on 14th November. Temporary placeholder artwork can also be glimpsed, such as this for the DVD and this for the Bluray steelbook.
Then, earlier today, Danny John-Jules noticed that some US retailers are using some really dodgy fan mockup as a placeholder. He was not happy about this, given that the Cat is nowhere to be seen. Baby Cow’s Dan Kay moved to reassure Danny that this cover was not genuine, and then the bantz began, with Dan tweeting an amusing alternate mockup. Then just now, Doug took it a step further with this tweet…
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In the few days since Samsara was released online, the reaction seems to be mixed to say the least, with opinion split on whether or not it was better than Twentica. Some people are calling it a highlight of the Dave era, and some people are calling it an absolute stinker, although admittedly the majority lie somewhere in the middle of these extremes. Nevertheless, any review is naturally going to met with disagreement from one side or the other, so here’s the deal.
If you liked Samsara, then the bits that have you nodding with agreement mean that your goodwill will be punished with bits that will make you angry. And if you hated it, all the insults you fling at me for being wrong will be rewarded by the time you reach the end. For I believe that this episode is a perfectly balanced mixture of equal parts great Red Dwarf and terrible Red Dwarf. Let’s go back to the beginning to explore why…
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Yesterday we published a possibly slightly too long video of my first impressions of Red Dwarf XI: The Game, and came out of the experience feeling quite positive and about the thing in general, with a few reservations mixed in. Since then I’ve played through the whole of the Twentica content on an actual phone and not a mouse controlled emulator. If you haven’t already we’d love it if you take a look at our First Impressions video below and continue on for my full thoughts on the game as it currently stands. Spoilers for the whole game obviously follow.
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Samsara has now been online long enough for the majority of you dirty UKTV Players to be fully caught up, so we now have a brand new 30 minutes to pick through with our grubby little fingers. As we did last week, here are some of the pertinent points and ponderings.
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Twentica? Twentica was a week ago. We’re far more concerned about the quite hilarious things that happen in Samsara. Yes, with the first episode safely broadcast in a linear manner, it’s time for episode two to spread its wings and fly to On Demand Land. We’d kind of expected it to go online immediately after broadcast, until Dave clarified last night that they were waiting til Friday morning. We’re massively on board with this; it helps to keep things clean by holding back the new episode until we’ve finished discussing the last one. Anyway:
EDIT: COME ALONG, EVERYBODY! IT’S HERE! IT’S IN ORBIT!
Discuss away below, and we’ll be along with some Talking Points for you later today. And thanks to all those who listened live to our Twentica DwarfCast last night. We were a little rusty in places, but we soon remembered how tremendously fun the experience is. Same time next week, yeah?